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Fast-moving storm robbed power from more than 113,000

A large tree toppled by strong wind landed

A large tree toppled by strong wind landed on a house on Sherbrooke Drive in Smithtown on Monday morning, Oct. 30, 2017. Credit: James Carbone

More than 113,000 of LIPA’s 1.1 million customers experienced a power outage as a result of a fast-moving storm on Sunday that brought high winds and rain through Monday morning.

About 11,400 customers remained without power as of Monday evening at 9:20 p.m. PSEG said it expected 95 percent of those affected by the storm to be restored by midnight Monday while expecting the bulk of remaining outages would be restored by midnight Tuesday.

The storm, which struck on the five-year anniversary of superstorm Sandy, ultimately impacted a total of 113,693 customers, spread throughout LIPA’s service territory, said PSEG spokesman Jeffrey Weir. He noted that up to 15,000 were intentional outages needed to ensure the safety of crews performing restoration. More than 1,176 power-line workers, tree-trimmer crews and others — some working 16-hour shifts — were on the job restoring power.

The storm was the largest in terms of total outages that PSEG has dealt with since taking over management of the system in January, 2014. PSEG had restored power to more than 95,000 customers by Monday evening.

High wind gusts were the primary culprit impacting the system, Weir said, complicating restorations. Customer outages peaked at 46,654 at 12:01 a.m. on Monday.

The strongest gusts were over the East End, reaching 75 mph on Plum Island and 67 mph at Hampton Bays and Montauk, according to the National Weather Service. Those winds had largely abated by Monday afternoon.

Weir said utility poles also were knocked down by the storm, including six in the business-hotel district at Route 110 in Farmingdale near Spagnoli Road.

Most of the jobs were what the utility labels “singles,” in which one customer loses power and requires a crew to restore. Those are the most labor-intensive outages and require the longest times to restore, Weir said, adding that outages were spread across the region. The high-voltage transmission system was not impacted, he said.

PSEG issued mutual-aid requests to regional utilities to help with the restoration, but only its sister company, PSE&G of New Jersey, was able to respond. It sent 55 workers and 30 trucks to Long Island.

In addition to residential outages, downed wires caused temporary service suspensions on the Montauk and Ronkonkoma branches of the Long Island Rail Road, it said.

With Lisa Irizarry, John Valenti, Patricia Kitchen and William Murphy

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